Kathleen Morgan

Associate Professor of Psychology


Mars 1135

(508) 286-3934

(508) 286-8278


Main Interests

Applied animal behavior, stress in captivity, animal welfare, human-animal interactions, science education. See my personal webpage for more on these interests, for examples of publications, and for my vita.

Other Interests

I love quilting, reading, gardening, cooking, and hanging out with my dog Zucchini (sitting on my lap above) and my horse Cocoa (you can see her on my personal webpage).


Ph.D., M.A., University of California, Davis
B.A., Canisius College

Research Interests

I am interested in the relationships between humans and other animals, and in particular, how those relationships can both be stress-inducing and stress-reducing. As a result of these interests, I spend a lot of time in zoos, aquaria, and public parks–observing animals in captivity and human responses to these animals as well as animal responses to human visitors. A visit to my personal webpage will let you know more about these research interests.

In addition, I am part of a long-term interdisciplinary study of vernal pools on campus and elsewhere in New England. Specifically, I maintain a database of yellow-spotted salamanders (Ambystoma maculatum) that visit our monitored pools.

Teaching Interests

I teach courses in animal behavior, general psychology, and biological psychology. I’m also passionately interested in the improvement of science education and in partnerships between the college and kindergarten, elementary, middle, and high school science programs. I’m an active member of Project Kaleidoscope,and the Council on Undergraduate Research.


Morgan, K.N. & Tromborg, C.T. (2007). Sources of stress in captivity. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 102, 262-302.

Morgan, K.N. (2006). Is autism a stress disorder? What studies of nonautistic populations can tell us. In: M. G. Baron, J. Groden, G. Groden, & L.P. Lipsitt, (eds,), Stress and Coping in Autism. Oxford, G.B.: Oxford University Press.

Morgan, K.N. (2003). Demonstrating strategies for solving the Prisoner≠s Dilemma. In: B.J. Ploger & K. Yasukawa (eds), Exploring Animal Behavior in Laboratory and Field. Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Academic Press, pp. 359-377.

Morgan, K.N., *Thayer, J.E., & Frye, C.A. (1999). Prenatal stress suppresses rat pup ultrasonic vocalization and myoclonic twitching in response to separation. Developmental Psychobiology, 34, 205-15.

Morgan, K.N., Line, S.W., & Markowitz, H. (1998). Zoos, enrichment, and the skeptical observer: The practical value of assessment. In Shepherdson, DJ, Mellen, JD and Hutchins, M, (eds.), Second Nature: Environmental Enrichment for Captive Animals, Smithsonian Institution Press, pp. 153-171.

Selected Publications, Creative Work, or Performances

See personal webpage for this information.

Student Projects

Fall 2008:

Morgan, K.N., Zickl, S., Kaur, B., & Tonelli, D. Relative numerosity in rats

Morgan, K.N., Jamiel, M., Spang, A., Schmidt, K., & Weiner, E. Changes in animal behavior, visitor behavior, and visitor attitude with a change in exhibit.

Fall 2007:

Morgan, K.N., Spang, A., Walk, E., & Jamiel, M. Comparative relative numerosity in captive primates. (A study of number sense in nonhuman primates at the Southwick’s Zoo).

Pingree, C. & Morgan, K.N. Factors predicting gastric ulcer development in competing 3-day event horses.

Helft, E. & Morgan, K.N. The health benefits of interacting with companion animals